S A T E M :: T H E  N E W  C H E S S

The Idea

We have made it our business to reform the classical Chess, extending its basic ideas while retaining its dignity.

Thus we have chosen the enlargements, names and new movements very subtly. SATEM CHESS – which comprises all rules of the “Old Chess” should lead to a renaissance of the beauty, fascination and logic of this great board game. It is not a variation, normally known as “fairy chess”.

We have added a new figure. The Cardinal, who walks on long and short distances and may make a sidestep. The Cardinal may walk diagonally as far as he wishes and ends his movement with a horizontal or vertical step on the next square. He may not jump over other pieces. After each move the Cardinal will end up on a different colour.

This extension results in a chess board with ten-by-ten squares. The possible strategies of the game are also extended. The classical rules of chess will be largely preserved.

Why? Or from chessplayer to chessplayer

The contemporary rules of chess go back to the 15th century. Famous masters of chess have analyzed the sheer inexhaustible possibilities of the game during centuries. Openings, attacks and defenses have been named after them. (Marshall-attack, Grünfeld-Indisch, etc). Millions of matches have been described till the end.

Nowadays computers dominate the world of chess. The final victory of computer programs over any human opponent is a sad reality. This domination of the computer results in a decrease of the fascination of the game and a loss of players and public. Many towns – where 30 years ago – highly competitive town championships have been fought, do not even have one chess club although of course, the young generation with modern players like Magnus Carlsen, Sergej Karjakin or Wei Yi enrich the worldwide amateur scene of chess sports.

But what does the future look like?

Do we really want to stay with the trodden out paths of a Spanish match with a Berlin defense? Or do we want to direct the chess game in a new direction? To give it a new surrounding with a lot of new challenges which will present unknown possibilities?

We associate creativity, imagination and intelligence with the game of chess. Unfortunately, reality is different. Boredom, fixed routines and whole games memorized. Already in times of Capablanca, Lasker and Fischer, there was talk about new possibilities to enrich the game with new ideas.

Chess players with nearly the same strength experience more and more during their games, that the number of matches ending in remis, grows continually. Sports like tennis, soccer, field and track, etc. realize a continuous adaptation. It would be great, if the chess organizations would face the new challenges. This “new chess” SATEM CHESS provides this new challenge, especially for passionate chess players without blinkers.

Quotations of the old world champions

Das Schachgenie Capablanca
Isaak Linder & Wladimir Linder
Sportverlag Berlin (1967)
ISBN: 3-328-00238-3

Although Capablanca achieved due to high technique victories, he was aggrieved by the many remises during championships. Already during the Moscow competition the world champion said after a remis with Rabinowitsch: “Chess will be played so easy that there will be a long row of unconquerable players.” Capablanca already thought about the coming danger of a “remises-sickness” between high class players during 1921, while he played the game against Lasker, which started with a series of 4 remises and he had the feeling that there would be no end ….

It is remarkable that Lasker, who loved the game of chess as passionately as Capablanca and dedicated his whole life to it – not only gave his attention also to the many remises, just like Capablanca, but also gave in his book “Mein Wettkampf mit Capablanca” an astounding declaration:

“The old game of chess will be doomed. Chess as it is now, will die of remises. The victory of knowledge and mechanics, which is unavoidable, will be the death of the game. New rules will have to be found, possibly the starting setup will have to be changed and the nuances of the winner and loser will have to be enlarged, to present new difficulties and new secrets. One cannot let the old game die.”

Capablanca also was afraid that the progress of the chess theories would sooner or later result in the fact that “ a good player can bring any game to a remis.” Therefore, he suggested to enlarge the board to 100 squares and to put new pieces next to the King and the Queen, which would combine the movements of the Rook and the Bishop and finally would allow the Pawns to move forward 3 squares. The mentioned article of Capablanca about the Moscow Competition in “Binestre Cubana” (1926), which unfortunately was not really well known outside of Cuba, also covered this problem. Capablancas proposition, being really path-breaking – was mentioned in the press in such a way accusing him of wanting to do away with chess. Thus the world champion felt obligated to declare the following:

“The articles I have read and heard of in this connection, make me realize, that I was not understood. There is really a lot of literature dealing with the game of chess, thousands of books about what is chess and how it is played today. A lot of things have to be thought about before taking a decision in order not to destroy everything. Further the limit in chess has so far not been reached. No player has been invincible till now. For 8 years I have been without loss during 4 competitions and 2 matches, but finally Reti won a match against me in 1924 during a New York competition. The other chess players could not level with me till now, thus one had to be content with the fact, that intended remis are impossible”….

The Name Satem Chess

After having realized parallels between the European and some Asian languages, one assumed there should be a mutual language family: “Indogerman” or Indoeuropean”. To differ between these two one used the word for “hundred”, in Latin Centum” and in Sanskrit “Satem”. Satem Chess has to be understood as part of the chess family and with the extension of 64 squares to 100, the name Satem Chess was quite compulsory.